Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Charles Van Riper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Background and Purpose of the Study


Developmental studies of speech (12, 13, 24) have indicated that the growth of articulation skills in children follows a definite pattern, with the vowels being first mastered, then the consonants, and finally, the consonant blends. Studies generally agree that the normal child acquires essentially adult articulation by eight years of age. It may be expected, then, that in the early elementary grades, immature articulation skills are not unusual in normal children, and that at higher grade levels, immature articulation skills are relatively less common. Mills and Streit (11), in a survey of speech defects of a sample of 4685 children from schools not offering speech therapy, found that 28.9 per cent of the first grade, 22.2 per cent of the second, and 22.1 of the third grade children had functional articulation disorders, while only 0.9 per cent of the children in the grades above third had functional articulation disorders. Roe and Milisen (15) reported similar findings, and indicated that the yearly decrease in the number of articulation errors produced by elementary school children was not significant beyond the third grade.